If you like your Friday Night lucha libre shows calm then hold onto this CMLL Super Viernes card closely sports fans. This week will be relatively normal compared to the week after, which will feature CMLL delivering the Gran Alternativa Finals against a returning AAA running out of Tehuacan with a card that looks loaded with surprises. That should be bonkers. This show…well it’ll just be your regular, pretty good Friday night show with a promising Block B in the Gran Alternativa tournament, a really good trios match in the undercard and Soberano-Negro Casas II: Electric Boogaloo. It’s not quite going back and forth between CMLL and AAA while your eyeballs burst out of your sockets but still; pretty good! And now that you have that image in your head, it’s only appropriate we start this preview.
Acero & Aéreo vs. Mercurio & Pequeño Violencia
What to Expect: Unlike most of the scenes chopped out of Batman Forever, this match should’ve been left on the cutting room floor. Seriously CMLL; why is this here?! The show didn’t need a sixth match anyway and it sure as hell didn’t need it to be this comedy of errors. I’m sure CMLL is hoping that the allure of the Friday show will lead to a more spirited effort from Acero and Aéreo (the latter who I maintain is actually very good when he wants to be) but no spirited effort will change the fact that Acero is mediocre on his best day, Pequeño Violencia sucks, Mercurio has no move set and Aéreo’s will to put on good matches is a dead as Ed Harris’ humanity in Westworld. Unless you have to watch this (like me), skip this match and start the show fifteen minutes later so you can escape this pointless exercise.
Winners: When in doubt, go with the rudos. They take it in three falls.
Fuego, Pegasso, Stigma vs. Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel
What to Expect: This feels like a match with a whole lot of pieces that don’t fit. All six of these guys can be good (yes Stigma, even you); the problem is I’m not sure if they’ll be good together. It doesn’t help that the technicos are team filled with guys who are good second or third bananas but aren’t capable of showcasing star level ability in the spotlight. Well other than Fuego with his dancing of course. I anticipate everyone will try hard (the technicos aren’t rookies so Cancerbero and Raziel will be professional) and we’ve seen that Fuego and Pegasso can deliver good performances when they put the work in. I just don’t think anyone here stands out enough to make this match anything more than a solid yet uneventful romp no one will forget fifteen minutes after its ended. The Ready Player One of CMLL matches if you will!
Winners: Too close to call, so we’ll break out the Canadian Dollar. Heads technicos, moose rudos…and its heads. The technicos win in three falls. This Canadian Dollar flip was brought to you by Sunkist, the non official sponsor of my columns (though that could change if Sunkist finally answers my calls!).
Esfinge, Titán, Tritón vs. Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora
What to Expect: It will presumably be at this point where this show gets off Mediocre Boulevard and takes a sharp right onto Dis Gonna Be Good Lane. My Grodd that joke came off even worse on paper than it did in my head!
Bad jokes aside this match should be swell. It’s got approximately one weak worker in the field in Esfinge, and he’s in his rightful place as the third wheel behind the world class duo of Titán and Tritón. Those two should be raring to go in this match and they’ve got a good rudo group in Los Revolucionarios and Hechicero, who finally has a match he can sink his teeth into after a parade of middling matches he had to raise up. Its possible CMLL doesn’t give these guys the time or they give Esfinge too much to do, but if they allow Titán and Tritón to go nuts and the rudos do their thing, this match could make a case for being the best of the night. It’ll still fall short of the match following it but it can at least get in the conversation.
Winners: All apologies to Hechi, El General and Pólvora but I have a good feeling about the technicos in this one. They take it in three falls after, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Esfinge pins Hechicero with that weird bridging death lock pin of his after Titán and Tritón hit dueling Asai Moonsaults on the Revolucionarios for the show’s Kodak moment.
One Fall, No Time Limit Match
Soberano Jr. vs. Negro Casas
What to Expect: What we have here is a weird case of CMLL being brilliant. A few weeks ago the promotion put Soberano and Negro Casas together in a Lightning Match (originally booked to be Casas vs. Sam Adonis by the way) that was pretty close to perfect until they ran out of time. How did CMLL choose to solve the draw? By booking them in a rematch this weekend where it’s once again one fall, only the ten minute time limit is gone. So to recap, CMLL booked a good match that ended in a draw and then booked a logical rematch with a logical stipulation. I know; I can’t believe it either!
All that being said don’t let the shock of Paco and the gang turning into Mr. Spock distract you from the fact that this is a really good thing we are getting. It’s Soberano vs. Negro Casas, one fall to a finish with no time limit! That means no quick two falls bogging things down and keeping the match from getting going, no wasted moments, none of that bullshit we occasionally get from CMLL’s big one on one matches (which I must stress generally do work their way into being really good). It’s just going to be two outstanding workers, who had an outstanding match a few weeks ago by the way, getting what I’d expect to be around fifteen minutes to do their thing and deliver an outstanding follow up to what we got a few weeks ago. The whole thing is so fitting it makes you wonder why CMLL isn’t doing more of it…well besides the fact that it’s CMLL and their decision making changes second to second. But we can cross that bridge another time; for now let’s just enjoy a match that, barring an unfortunate injury, should be great and easily the best match on this show.
Winner: You could make an argument for both sides. Casas is clearly the bigger star and somehow remains a tour de force at 58 years old, but Soberano is arguably CMLL’s fastest rising star and (in my opinion) the best performer on their roster. On top of that, the best reason for Casas to win this match would be to set up a final match between these two next week (a co-main event of sorts) with Soberano’s Mexican National Welterweight Championship on the line…and holy shit I’ve talked myself into that! Sorry Soberano; your win will come next week as Negro Casas steals a win here at the fifteen minute mark with La Casita, leading to a challenge to set up a third and final match next week to go along with the Gran Alternativa Final. Speaking of that…
Gran Alternativa Block B
Carístico & Star Jr. vs. Cavernario & El Coyote vs. Euforia & Akuma vs. Kráneo & Audaz vs. Máscara Año 2000 & Universo 2000 Jr. vs. Niebla Roja & Astral vs. Último Guerrero & Templario vs. Valiente & Príncipe Diamante
What to Expect: It’s time for Block B! Or as I like to call it, the much better Block of the two. Like many I’m a little disappointed Dragón Lee couldn’t team with Audaz here as originally planned (that would’ve taken this Block from Final Fantasy VII to Final Fantasy X levels) but even without Lee this Block looks great. Only Máscara Año 2000 and Universo 2000 Jr. can be considered a weak team and they’d still be better than some of the units we saw last week. Everyone else ranges from solid (Valiente & Príncipe Diamante) to intriguing (Euforia & Akuma, Niebla Roja & Astral) to intriguing because Audaz is on the team (Audaz and Lee’s replacement Kráneo) to really good (Cavernario & Coyote) to “HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE CMLL PUT TOGETHER THIS AWESOME OF A UNIT!” (Carístico & Star Jr. and the UG & Templario). This is a really strong Block sports fans. It won’t live up to its full potential because CMLL isn’t going to give all these matches enough time to work their magic, but I expect most of these matches to be fun and some of them to be really good, especially the match that I predict will be the finals.
Winners: Picking the winning team here is like picking the Cavs-Celtics series; anyone with a brain knows its UG and Templario winning this Block. Not only is the UG on the team but they’re easily the best team, with the UG continuing to be one of the best workers on the planet while Templario has evolved into the best non Audaz find CMLL has made in the past year. The real intrigue is who they beat in the finals to move on and face Flyer and Volador Jr. next week. It could be any of these other teams but I get the feeling, with Dragón Lee now out, it’s going to be Carístico and Star Jr. That scenario allows the UG to get revenge on Carístico for defeating him in this tournament last year (remember, Carístico and Soberano were victorious over UG and Sansón in an outstanding finals) and also allows the long underrated Star Jr. to have a long, entertaining trek through this Block before getting to work with Templario and UG at the end. So that’s my pick; the UG and Templario take it home after defeating Carístico and Star Jr. in the Block B finals.
Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs. Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
What to Expect: These poor bastards. Not only are they likely to be following a really fun tournament block and two potentially really good matches but they’ll probably be going out there at about the two and a half hour mark in the show. No one is going to care about this match and frankly neither should these guys. Thus you can expect this to be the usual “let’s get it over with and hit Super Astro’s tortas place” kind of match. I’m quite okay with that as the rest of the card should be good and Volador needs to save himself for next week anyway. Can’t force Flyer to carry the load all by himself now!
Winners: Technicos win. Oro, Mistico and Volador take it in three falls after Mistico gets Luciferno in La Mistica and Volador hits Mephisto with the super rana.
That’s game sports fans. I’m off to eat lunch. You’ll either see me tomorrow for the CMLL Live Review or if any potential breaking news drops. Till whenever, THIS!
Please change disks to continue…